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The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

MEDIA RELEASE

18 April 2018

Australians encouraged to commemorate Anzac Day 2018

AUSTRALIANS are encouraged to reflect on the service and sacrifice of those who have served our nation on Anzac Day 2018, which this year marks the centenary of the Battles of Villers-Bretonneux.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Darren Chester, will pay his respects in Belgium on Anzac Day honouring the service and sacrifice of the more than 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front in the First World War.

Mr Chester said he would be accompanying the Prime Minister to the official opening of the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux on 24 April and will then represent the Government at Anzac Day services in Belgium.

“It is an honour to be attending commemorations in France and Belgium this year, including visiting the village of Villers-Bretonneux where Australian troops were instrumental in resisting the German advance and ensuring their attempt to win the war in the first half of 1918 failed,” Mr Chester said.

“We must never forget the service and sacrifice of Australian troops who served on the Western Front and the role they played in securing an Allied victory.

“Equally, in this final year of the Anzac Centenary, it is important to pay tribute to the more than 50,000 Australians who fought in Gallipoli in 1915, where the Anzac legend was born and those who served with honour in all theatres of war.”

Anzac Day is a time for all Australians to remember the more than 1.5 million service men and women who have defended our country in all conflicts, wars and peacekeeping operations and the more than 102,000 who sacrificed their lives for our country.

“In towns and cities across Australia and around the world, Australians will attend services to salute the bravery, mateship and sacrifice of the men and women who have defended our freedoms and values for more than a century.”

“We also recognise the many service men and women who are currently serving overseas and acknowledge the impact this has on them and their family and friends who remain at home. We owe our service personnel an immeasurable amount of thanks.

“I encourage all Australians to participate in Anzac Day commemorations and acknowledge those who have served and continue to serve our country.”

Mr Chester said occasions such as Anzac Day can be difficult for some veterans and their families and encouraged those affected to call the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service which is available 24 hours a day on 1800 011 046.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Whil Prendergast: 0427 672 815
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon. Darren Chester, Canberra ACT.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.